Michael Andreas Helmuth Ende (12 November 1929 – 28 August 1995) was a German author of fantasy and children's literature. He is best known for his epic fantasy work The Neverending Story; other famous works include Momo and Jim Button and Luke the Engine Driver. His works have been translated into more than 40 languages and sold more than 20 million copies, and have been adapted into motion pictures, stage plays, operas and audio books.
Ende was one of the most popular and famous German authors of the 20th century, mostly due to the enormous success of his children's books. However, Ende was not strictly a children's author, as he also wrote books for adults. Ende claimed, "It is for this child in me, and in all of us, that I tell my stories," and that "[my books are] for any child between 80 and 8 years" (qtd. Senick 95, 97). Ende often found frustration in being perceived as exclusively an author for children, considering himself rather a man intending to speak of cultural problems and spiritual wisdom to people of all ages in his works; he wrote in 1985:
- "One may enter the literary parlor via just about any door, be it the prison door, the madhouse door, or the brothel door. There is but one door one may not enter it through, which is the child room door. The critics will never forgive you such. The great Rudyard Kipling is one of a number of people to have suffered from this. I keep wondering to myself what this peculiar contempt towards anything related to childhood is all about."
Ende's writing could be described as a surreal mixture of reality and fantasy. The reader is often invited to take a more interactive role in the story, and the worlds in his books often mirror our reality, using fantasy to bring light to the problems of an increasingly technological modern society. Not least of all because of having attended a Waldorf school as a child, his writings were influenced by anthroposophy. Ende was also known as a proponent of economic reform, and claimed to have had the concept of aging money in mind when writing Momo.
He was born in Garmisch (Bavaria, Germany), son of the surrealist painter Edgar Ende. He died in Filderstadt (Germany) of stomach cancer.
Ende was born November 12, 1929 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen (Bavaria, Germany). An only child, his parents were Edgar Ende, a surrealist painter, and Luise Bartholomä Ende, a physiotherapist (Coby 258). Since his artwork was banned by the Nazi party, Edgar Ende was forced to work in secret. In 1935, when he was six, the Ende family moved to the "artists' quarter of Schwabing" in Munich (Haase 55). Growing up in this rich artistic and literary environment influenced Ende’s later writing.
Ende attended the Maximillians Gymnasium until schools in Munich were closed due to bombings in 1943 (Colby 258). He resumed school at the Waldorf School in Stuttgart. It was at this time that Ende first began to write stories ("Michael," par. 3). He aspired to be a "dramatist," but wrote mostly short stories and poems (Haase 55). In 1945, sixteen year old Ende was drafted into the German army, but deserted and joined an anti-Nazi group for the remainder of the war (Colby 258; “Michael,” par. 3).
After World War II, Ende decided that he wanted to be a playwright, but accepted a scholarship to study acting at the Otto-Falkenberg-Schauspielschule in Munich, since he could not afford to pay for college (Haase 55).
Michael Ende's works include: (Note – original titles are listed in German, followed by the English translation of the title in captions. Any translations of an entire work into English are listed.)
- 1967 - Die Spielverderber (The Spoilsport)
- 1972 - Tranquilla Trampeltreu die beharrliche Schildkröte (1972)
- 1973 - Momo (1973) (Translated into English by Francis Lobb as The Grey Gentlemen, and by J. Maxwell Brownjohn as Momo.)
- 1975 - "Das Kleine Lumpenkasperle"
- 1978 Das Traumfresserchen (Translated into English by Gwen Mars as The Dream Eater in 1978)
- 1978 - Lirum Larum Willi Warum: Eine lustige Unsinngeschichte für kleine Warumfrager
- 1981 Der Lindwurm und der Schmetterling oder Der seltsame Tausch (1981)
- 1982 - Die zerstreute Brillenschlange
- 1982 - Die Schattennähmaschine
- 1982 - Das Gauklermärchen (The Juggler's Tale)
- 1982 - Written with Erhard Eppler and Hanne Tächl - Phantasie/Kultur/Politik: Protokoll eines Gesprächs (Fantasy/Culture/Politics: transcript of a conversation)
- 1982 - Die Ballade von Norbert Nackendick; oder das nackte Nashom
- 1984 - Norbert Nackendick; oder das nackte Nashom
- children's book based on his play
- 1984 - Der Spiegel im Spiegel (1986)(Translated into English by J. Maxwell Brownjohn as Mirror in the Mirror: a labyrinth in 1986)
- a collection of short stories for adults illustrated with Ende's father, Edgar Ende's engravings.
- 1984 - Filemon Faltenreich
- 1984 - Der Goggolori (1984)
- wrote and illustrated
- a play based on a Bavarian legend
- 1985 - Archäologie der Dunkelheit (Archaeology of Darkness)
- nonfiction, about Edgar Ende and his work
- 1986 Trödelmarkt der Träume: Mitternachtslieder und leise Balladen (Midnight songs and quiet ballads)
- collection of poetry and lyrics
- 1988 - Ophelias Schattentheater (Translated into English by Anthea Bell as Ophelia's Shadow Theater in 1989)
- 1988 - Wrote the libretto for Die Jagd nach dem Schlarg
- Opera adaptation of The Hunting of the Snark by Lewis Carroll
- Der satanarchäolügenialkohöllische Wunschpunsch (1989) (Translated into English by Heike Schwarzbauer and Rick Takvorian as The Night of Wishes: or, The Satanarchaeolidealcohellish Notion Potion in 1992)
- 1989 - Die Vollmondlegende (1989) (The Legend of the Full Moon)
- 1990 - Die Geschichte von der Schüssel und vom Löffel
- 1992 - Das Gefängnis der Freiheit
- 1992 - Der lange Weg nach Santa Cruz (The Long Road to Santa Cruz)
- 1993 - Der Teddy und die Tiere
- 1993 - Wrote the libretto for the opera Der Rattenfänger: ein Hamelner Totentanz. Oper in elf Bildern
- 1998 - Der Niemandsgarten
Most of the above information was retrieved from the following sources:
- Coby, Vineta, ed. "Michael Ende." World Authors 1980 - 1985. New York, New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1991. p. 259.
- Haase, Donald P. "Michael Ende." Dictionary of Literary Biography: Contemporary German Fiction Writers, Second Series. Eds. Wolfgang D. Elfe and James Hardin. Vol 75. Detroit Michigan: Gale Research Inc, 1988. p. 55, 57.
- "Michael Ende." Contemporary Authors Online. Farmington Hills, Michigan: The Gale Group. 2003. par. 16-17.
- ^ "Man darf von jeder Tür aus in den literarischen Salon treten, aus der Gefängnistür, aus der Irrenhaustür oder aus der Bordelltür. Nur aus einer Tür darf man nicht kommen, aus der Kinderzimmertür. Das vergibt einem die Kritik nicht. Das bekam schon der große Rudyard Kipling zu spüren. Ich frage mich immer, womit das eigentlich zu tun hat, woher diese eigentümliche Verachtung alles dessen herrührt, was mit dem Kind zu tun hat.", Page on Michael Ende by Thienemann, the publishing house that published most of Ende's works
- ^ Peter Boccarius, Michael Ende: Der Anfang der Geschichte, München: Nymphenburger, 1990. ISBN 348500622X. German.
- ^ Michael Ende biographical notes, "Michael Ende und die magischen Weltbilder" (German). "...es sei nicht nur die Steinersche Anthroposophie gewesen, die Michael Endes Weltsicht geprägt habe." ("...it was not only Steiner's anthroposophy that defined Michael Ende's world view.") Accessed 2008-09-08.
- Colby, Vineta, ed. "Michael Ende." World Authors 1980–1985. New York, New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1991.
- Haase, Donald P. "Michael Ende." Dictionary of Literary Biography: Contemporary
German Fiction Writers, Second Series. Eds. Wolfgang D. Elfe and James Hardin. Vol. 75. Detroit Michigan: Gale Research Inc, 1988.
- Hilbun, Janet. "Ende, Michael." The Continuum Encyclopedia of Children's Literature.
Eds. Bernice E. Cullinan and Diane G. Person. New York, New York: Continuum International Publishing Group Inc, 2001.
- "Michael Ende." Contemporary Authors Online. Farmington Hills, Michigan: The Gale Group, 2003. <www.galenet.com/servlet/BioRC> 3 February 2003.
- Senick, Gerard J., ed. "Michael Ende." Children's Literature Review. Vol. 14. Detroit, Michigan. Gale Research Company, 1988.
- Zipes, Jack, ed. "Ende, Michael." Donald Haase. The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales. New York, New York: Oxford University Press Inc, 2000.